Nominations for the 58th annual Grammy awards will be revealed on Monday (Dec. 7), so it’s time to start wrapping up the predictions for the big four categories: album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist. That final one is particularly juicy this year, and more wide-open than last year’s ceremony, when Sam Smith easily locked up the trophy. Which new artist will follow in the footsteps of artists like Adele, Maroon 5, Christina Aguilera and John Legend?
Here are our official predictions for the five artists that will be hearing their name called when the best new artist nominees are announced next week. Check out our forecast, and tell us what you think!
Last year, Meghan Trainor earned major nominations for her No. 1 hit “All About That Bass,” but was ineligible to compete in the best new artist category without an album out. Now, Title is a hit, she’s got three more Top 20 entries, and Trainor looks like a lock for the category in 2016.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the American Music Awards last month was when Sam Hunt triumphed over artists like the Weeknd and Fetty Wap to take home the new artist of the year prize. With his debut album, Montevallo, producing crossover hits like “Take Your Time” and “House Party,” Hunt is a good bet to appear in this new-artist field, too.
An all-time massive night at the CMA Awards helped launch Chris Stapleton’s Traveller to the top of the albums chart, and the country newcomer into the best new artist discussion. With Sam Hunt lurking, can Stapleton make it two male country singers in the best new artist category? We say: Yes.
The buttery-smooth soul stylings of Leon Bridges are easy for the backwards-looking Grammys to approve on its own, but the songs on his debut LP Coming Home are stellar, and he’s got momentum, with a recent AMAs performance and upcoming Saturday Night Live set. With no Sam Smith-esque powerhouse in the running this year, Bridges is the throwback that the Grammys love.
It’d be easy to predict the “Trap Queen” star is left out in the cold in this year’s category, shunned in favor of more mainstream-friendly artists like Tori Kelly or Alessia Cara. The thing is, Fetty Wap is the mainstream—he compiled a mountain of Top 20 hits this year after breaking through with “Trap Queen,” scored a critically acclaimed No. 1 debut album, and most importantly, shifted hip hop toward an exciting new style. Hey, what’s up, hello, Fetty—you should be getting a Grammy nod very soon.